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Trial Of Andy Warhol Farrah Fawcett Portrait Worth $30 Million

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Trial Of Andy Warhol Farrah Fawcett Portrait Worth $30 Million, Farrah Fawcett’s portait by Andy Warhold is going to trial. Ryan O’Neal and the University of Texas both want a silkscreen worth upwards of $30 million.

The Farrah Fawcett artwork jurors will hear testimony and see evidence that focuses the friendship between Andy Warhol and Ryan O’Neal. They will also hear about O’Neal’s relationship with Farrah Fawcett and testimony about Fawcett’s final wishes. The Andy Warhol silkscreen which was based on a Polaroid photo he took of the “Charlie’s Angels” star in 1980.

Farrah Fawcett’s silkscreen portrait by Andy Warhol has landed in court in a $30 million battle between Ryan O’Neal and the University of Texas. U of Texas says the Farrah Fawcett artwork is missing. It just might take the undercover detective work of Charlie’s Angel to get to the bottom of this case. The Farrah Fawcett image is one of the main attractions at University of Texas’s Blanton Museum of Art.

Farrah Fawcett’s life partner, Ryan O’Neal, and the University of Texas have competing claims on the 1980 artwork by famed pop artist Andy Warhol. O’Neal said Warhol personally gave it to him, but that he’d briefly left it at Farrah Fawcett’s house after it spooked his girlfriend. The University of Texas says Fawcett left all of her artwork to the school as part of a living trust.

Ryan O’Neal says the University of Texas is “greedily … trying to take (his) cherished portrait of the love of his life.” He is taking the claim to the Los Angeles Superior Court. The trial should take two weeks and the witnesses Ryan O’Neal, Redmond, the son he had with Farrah Fawcett, celebrity Alana Stewart and Jaclyn Smith who starred with Fawcett on “Charlie’s Angel.”

Ryan O’Neal enlisted celebrity attorney, Martin Singer, who The New York Times calls “guard dog to the stars” to handle the case.

So who is the likely winner? Kenneth Ostrove, a probate and estate attorney, told TODAY “It may come down to how good of an actor Mr. O’Neal is. If he can play out that emotional side of it, be believable.”

Andy Warhol’s 1980 portrait depicts Farrah Fawcett with bright green eyes, eye makeup and very red lips. It was done in Warhol’s famed silkscreen pop art style.

Farrah Fawcett died of cancer in 2009. She was 62. Before she went to Hollywood, she studied art at the University of Texas at Austin. When she died she left all her artwork to the school in a living trust. The school found out through Fawcett’s secret Texas boyfriend that there were two portraits of Farrah Fawcett by Andy Warhol. One was on display at the University of Texas’s Blanton Museum of Art. The other one, the school found out after hiring a private detective, was hanging in Ryan O’Neal’s Malibu home. It was clearly seen in the 2011 reality TV show, “Ryan and Tatum.”

The University of Texas board of regents sued and Ryan O’Neal counter-sued. Ryan says it was always the plan that Farrah got one of the paintings and he got the other. His suit also wants to take back the “Warhol napkin,” a sketch Warhol made of split hearts on a cloth napkin when they at dinner. The “Warhol napkin” is in the hands of the University of Texas
Making it all more difficult is that Ryan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett were never married. They were a couple. They had a son. But they owned several houses and didn’t always live together.

The court filing says “Ms. Fawcett and O’Neal had an extremely close, but sometimes tumultuous relationship. During the last 30 years of Ms. Fawcett’s life they lived together on and off again.”

Also complicating matters was the fact that the university told the court in a deposition that Farrah Fawcett found O’Neal in bed with another woman in February 1997. Something O’Neal admitted in a book. Fawcett moved out, but O’Neal says she didn’t take the artwork away for another year.

In an August 2012 deposition O’Neal said “And the reason I gave it to her is because there was a new woman in my life and the painting was making her uncomfortable; that Farrah seemed to be staring down at her. And so I said, ‘Well, I can fix that.’ I took it to Farrah and said ‘Keep this for me. I’ll be back.’”

The University of Texas says Fawcett had control and ownership of the second image from at least 1998 until her 2009 death when O’Neal took the portrait.

Estimates put the painting at between $12 million to $30 million. It is insured for $900,000. The “Warhol Napkin” is worth about $3,500.

Trial Of Andy Warhol Farrah Fawcett Portrait Worth $30 Million

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